Debian Weekly News - December 14th, 1999

Welcome to Debian Weekly News, a newsletter for the Debian developer community. This edition covers two weeks of news, since there wasn't enough of interest last week to make a full issue of DWN.

Debian 2.1r4 has been released. A recommended upgrade for anyone using stable, it consists of equal parts y2k fixes and security fixes Getting this out in time has been a last minute scramble, and the people who put in long hours this weekend should be commended. It seems likely that a few more y2k issues will crop up in the weeks ahead -- for example a fix for a y2k problem in nethack was only fixed upstream a few days ago, and did not make it into the release.

Security fixes have been released for dump, sendmail and htdig.

Debian Project Leader elections are due to start now, but rather than have them run over the holiday season the Project Secretary is planning to put them off until January. The plan is to begin nominations on January 9th. January is shaping up to be a busy month -- remember that the freeze is scheduled for January 15th, just one month from today.

Anthony Towns has set up a "testing" distribution on This distribution is meant to be somewhere in between stable and unstable. Anthony's code makes sure that upgrading packages in testing does not cause any dependency problems. It also only moves packages into testing once they have been around for two weeks and have presumably been found to be bug-free. This has potential to become a useful distribution for people who want the cutting-edge power of unstable without the bugs.

Jason Gunthorpe posted about how to use the email gateway to the developer database. The email gateway allows setting of a few things, like ssh authorized keys and DNS entries, that cannot be changed via the web interface.

What are all these Debian leaders up to? Debian founder Ian Murdock (with investment help from Bruce Perens) is starting a Debian-based business called "Progeny Linux". It will "produce a commercial derivation of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution for the scientific and technical markets" and aims to "show other commercial Linux distributions by example how to succeed while continuing to be good citizens of the Open Source community" Ian is also a member of Bruce's Linux Capital Group, which incidentally now has Wichert Akkerman on its advisory board.

Followups to previous news items:

Here are a few of the many new packages added to Debian in the past two weeks:

As usual, news from the Debian-JP project is available.

Thanks to Randolph Chung and Katsura S. Yoshio for contributing.

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.